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Old 09-22-2018, 06:26 PM   #35
Sub-to-Dub
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September 2018

I decided simplify things a bit and sell my winter/summer wheel and tire setups and do the all-season thing.

I chose the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ based on the rave reviews and the fall rebate was enough to seal the deal. Since my area has very few major snow events and for the other 360 days of the year I wanted something as grippy and sporty as possible. I've run the DWS06 on several cars (great tire) but wanted to try something different this time around.

I've had the tires on the car for about 500 miles and here are my initial impressions:

Pros:
-Outstanding dry traction, for spirited around-town driving you probably won't miss a summer tire.
-Wet traction is strong and the tires let go in a predicable way.
-Good balance between comfort and responsive steering feel.
-A pronounced rim protector should help during those minor curb bumps and definitely make the tire looks meatier.

Cons:
-Tread noise is pronounced at highway speeds. It’s definitely one of the noisier tires I’ve ever used.
-Price is high but it’s hard to argue given the all-around performance

Observations:
-The tread pattern is pretty uninspiring to look at. While clearly not important compared to performance but the DWS06 or Comp-2 A/S certainly have the edge in that category.








Last edited by Sub-to-Dub; 10-07-2018 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:50 PM   #36
chiefhiawatha
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Donít want to argue with any of this except for the noise part. I donít think these are loud, and nobody has mentioned it to me when Iíve driven people and kids would have.
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:10 PM   #37
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I can hear them humming at highway speeds. Louder than my exhaust at 70.
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:28 PM   #38
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Would you recommend it over DWS06 for wet/cold conditions?
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:32 PM   #39
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Well, noise is certainly one of those subjective things. I find them louder than any other tire I've had. Fortunately, they're so good at everything else I can over look it.
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:34 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derushi View Post
Would you recommend it over DWS06 for wet/cold conditions?
I can't comment on cold or wintery conditions at this point but in the wet I think the Michelins have a slight edge. They just seem to hold on longer and it's a little harder to spin them from a start. The DWS06 are really good though and both are very confidence inspiring.
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:35 PM   #41
chiefhiawatha
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Iím going to be super mad at you guys if I reassess and am annoyed by the road noise.
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Old 09-23-2018, 03:10 PM   #42
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September 2018

I needed to transport some paint and chemicals to the recycling center and figured that was a good excuse to invest in a hitch-mounted cargo carrier. It was nice keeping the icky stuff outside the cabin and knowing that I can expand the capacity of the car in the future.

It's a Curt 19"x47" carrier purchased from etrailer.com for about $85. This particular model doesn't fold up and has a capacity of 300lbs.

The build quality is solid and everything went together smoothly. Assembly took about 15-20 minutes using only a 17mm and 19mm socket and wrench. The only real issue of note is that the metal the nuts are made of seems pretty soft so you have to be careful when tightening everything.

Paired with an anti-rattle stabilizer the carrier and cargo felt secure. For the price and utility this offers I'm very pleased.

I may add some reflective tape to the back of the carrier and I'm also researching some rigid storage boxes/bags to keep things out of the rain.









Last edited by Sub-to-Dub; 09-23-2018 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:23 PM   #43
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It's good to put the car to work! I have a similar tray. I don't use it very often because it obscures the license plate anytime I have more than a bicycle or small objects aboard. Relocating the plate when the tray is mounted may help to avoid unwanted conversations with LEO's.

Regarding the anti-rattle device, I used the same one you posted above. I disliked it for two reasons: 1) the long bolts reduce ground clearance and are subject to being struck, especially in uneven driveways; 2) the clamping plate digs into the paint on both the hitch receiver and its accessory. As a result, I started using this device. I have one for each of my ball mounts and another for my cargo tray so that I don't have to keep moving a single anti-rattle device from one piece to another. It's a lot faster to install and remove, too.

Take Care,

Scott
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:36 PM   #44
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Scott, thanks for your response, I appreciate the insight.

I hadn't considered the license plate being blocked and that's probably a good thing to consider for longer trips.

I did notice the reduced ground clearance and will definitely look more closely at the integrated solution you posted. That certainly seems a lot easier since I don't usually keep any one hitch mounted item on for more than a few days at a time.
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:00 PM   #45
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You're welcome.

It's tough to say if an officer would pull you over simply for seeing this:





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Old 10-06-2018, 10:04 PM   #46
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October 2018

Got a larger rear swaybar and beefier endlinks installed today.

Picked up an ST rear swaybar for $140 on eBay last week. I chose the ST bar based on the positive reviews and the price (15% off w/ coupon).

The Moog endlinks are certainly not necessary as the stock ones seem adequate but for $40 from Rockauto the metal units are greaseable and seem like cheap insurance.

The install was easier than I anticipated thanks in part to the previously installed Clubsport muffler which allowed me to completely drop the muffler for more room. Start to finish took about 30 minutes.

So far I can only offer initial impressions but think it's absolutely a worthwhile upgrade. Unsurprisingly there is less body roll and less input (amount, not frequency) required to keep the car tracking straight. THe lack of body roll is really apparent on sweeping turns at 30-50mph. Aside from more composed handling I think an added benefit will be a more comfortable pooch riding the the back seat (she insists on standing up and I have to go slow around corners).

Thankfully there are no clunks or other unexpected sounds even at the weird angle involved getting in and out of the driveway.. I am going to recheck everything after a few hundred miles.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the upgrade and hope it stays quiet and drama free! I'll update with some longer-term impressions as I drive more.








Last edited by Sub-to-Dub; 10-06-2018 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 10-25-2018, 03:32 AM   #47
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October 2018

During a recent oil change I noticed that my 034 insert was bent. I had thought the car felt sloppier than usual but it’s hard to tell because one acclimatizes to new mods.




I don’t think the deformation rendered the insert completely ineffective but it certainly wasn't functioning as new. Considering insert was only in for about 7,000 miles and the car really wasn’t driven that hard I am disappointed that it bent so quickly. I contacted 034 about the issue and they were very responsive but haven't offered to send a replacement yet. I’m expecting them to say the deformation is normal.

For the replacement, I wanted to try something different so I picked up the ECS doggone insert which uses a poly insert to vill the voids in the stock puck. A metal plate to secures the assembly in place. The insert came with an OEM bolt and was priced similarly to other offerings.








I also installed the ECS dogbone arm since it was on sale. After my bad experience with the Roc Euro arm I knew I wanted a model with an OEM-like pivot point. The ECS arm included three OEM bolts as well.










The two arms felt very similar in terms of weight and my unscientific test confirms.






Installation was very easy and only took about 20 minutes. It’s hard to comment on either part separately as they were installed at the same time but here are my impressions after a few miles:

-Vibrations at startup are definitely noticeable (although not much different than the 034 mount when new)
-Shifts are crisp and rev-matching is noticeably easier
-The vibrations are only bothersome when the revs are dropping to idle in neutral. At about 900 there is some shuddering until the engine reaches idle.
-The build quality is great and I expect these parts will last a long time






I’ll be sure to update as things settle in and I put a few more miles on these.

I did discover that a bent insert makes a great phone holder!


Last edited by Sub-to-Dub; 10-25-2018 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 11-11-2018, 09:41 PM   #48
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November 2018

Lately I've found my shifter setup a little too notchy and adjusting didn't seem to help much.

Whether it's just my particular combination of mods or changing personal preference, I decided to give another short shifter a try and picked up a Euro OEM short shifter on sale.

Installation was straightforward but removing the old shifter was difficult and need lots of persuasion to come off. The total install time including readjusting the shifter cables was about 45 minutes.

After about 800 miles of driving I am very happy with the performance. The Euro shifter is the perfect balance of smoothness and short throws. Pairing with solid shifter bushings and a weighted knob makes things even better!

Shifter characteristics are a very personal choice but for me this strikes the perfect balance. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking to tighten up the stock shifter without spending a lot of money or time installing/adjusting.

Pics showing showing the key difference:





And just for fun I wanted to chart my shifter experiences so far

Last edited by Sub-to-Dub; 11-11-2018 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 11-11-2018, 09:50 PM   #49
chiefhiawatha
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If you were local Iíd want to see what the oem short kit feels like. Maybe mine is magically adjusted but I wouldnít call my sigma short shifter notchy in the least. Maybe just used to it or maybe itís all the other stuff I had done
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:10 PM   #50
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After this curious to see how my 034 insert is holding up.
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Old 11-29-2018, 12:48 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sub-to-Dub View Post
October 2018

During a recent oil change I noticed that my 034 insert was bent. I had thought the car felt sloppier than usual but itís hard to tell because one acclimatizes to new mods.




I donít think the deformation rendered the insert completely ineffective but it certainly wasn't functioning as new. Considering insert was only in for about 7,000 miles and the car really wasnít driven that hard I am disappointed that it bent so quickly. I contacted 034 about the issue and they were very responsive but haven't offered to send a replacement yet. Iím expecting them to say the deformation is normal.

For the replacement, I wanted to try something different so I picked up the ECS doggone insert which uses a poly insert to vill the voids in the stock puck. A metal plate to secures the assembly in place. The insert came with an OEM bolt and was priced similarly to other offerings.








I also installed the ECS dogbone arm since it was on sale. After my bad experience with the Roc Euro arm I knew I wanted a model with an OEM-like pivot point. The ECS arm included three OEM bolts as well.










The two arms felt very similar in terms of weight and my unscientific test confirms.






Installation was very easy and only took about 20 minutes. Itís hard to comment on either part separately as they were installed at the same time but here are my impressions after a few miles:

-Vibrations at startup are definitely noticeable (although not much different than the 034 mount when new)
-Shifts are crisp and rev-matching is noticeably easier
-The vibrations are only bothersome when the revs are dropping to idle in neutral. At about 900 there is some shuddering until the engine reaches idle.
-The build quality is great and I expect these parts will last a long time






Iíll be sure to update as things settle in and I put a few more miles on these.

I did discover that a bent insert makes a great phone holder!

How difficult was the dogbone to pull out?
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